Systemic Steroids With or Without 2% Topical Minoxidil in the Treatment of Alopecia Areata

    November 1992 in “Archives of Dermatology
    Elise A. Olsen, Susan Carson, Elizabeth A. Turney
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    TLDR Steroids help hair regrowth, and minoxidil slows post-steroid hair loss, but effects are temporary.
    This 30-year-old study investigated the effectiveness of systemic steroids with or without 2% topical minoxidil in treating alopecia areata. The study found that systemic steroids were effective in inducing hair regrowth, with 47% of patients experiencing significant regrowth after a 6-week taper of systemic steroids. The study also found that 2% topical minoxidil appears to help limit or slow poststeroid hair loss in patients with alopecia areata. However, the duration of the effect of a short course of systemic steroids on hair regrowth in alopecia areata is limited, with regrown hair typically falling out 4 to 9 weeks after discontinuing steroid therapy.
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